Moving to Alabama: State Relocation Guide

Alabama is one of the oldest states in the country. And while it may not be one of the original 13 colonies, this state has a lot of history and pride. 

Whether you are looking for a change of scenery or need to relocate for work, Alabama offers many great locations like Rocket City or homes along Alabama’s Gulf Coast and the Alabama River.

When you begin your research about moving to Alabama, the amount of information is overwhelming and hard to sift through. That’s why we have this simple relocation guide already prepared. It includes many essential aspects of living and moving like climate taxes, healthcare, education, and much more.

Our goal is simple: give you the necessary information to make an informed decision about moving to Alabama. Let’s get started!

Alabama Climate

Alabama has an average temperature of 64℉. Northern regions of the state experience a lower average of 60℉, and southern areas can expect higher temperatures around 67℉. The summers are not sweltering hot, overall, but coastal temperatures can easily hit over 100℉ with breezes off the Gulf Coast.

Alabama experiences a lot of rain which mainly happens along the coastline. With an average of 56 inches per year, Alabama ranks #4 as the most rain nationwide. Alabama residents can expect a few inches of snow every year.

Alabama has six ecoregions, meaning that there are six distinct areas with varying climates.

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The Southeastern Plains make up over half the state and contribute to the warmer average temperatures with high winds and warmer temperatures overall. 

If you move to the northeastern part of the state, you can expect more mountainous terrain as you enter the Appalachian Mountain chain.

Overall, Alabama offers perfect temperatures with a significant amount of rainfall for those interested in agriculture.

Taxes in Alabama

When it comes to taxes, Alabama is pretty affordable compared to other states. It does have a state income tax, but its max percentage is 5%, with only three available brackets.

If you compare the income tax in Alabama to nearby states, there is some healthy competition.

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Although Florida and Tennessee are neighboring states without an income tax, Georgia, Arkansas, and Louisiana have higher rates, and Mississippi is equivalent. 

However, when it comes to corporate and business taxes, Alabama is in the lower half, meaning they are on the higher end of corporate and business taxes. Currently ranked #39, Alabama’s tax percentages aren’t the friendliest for a corporate entity.

If you own a business and want to move your headquarters to Alabama, you need to prepare for higher tax margins, but you could save money with some of the lowest property taxes. 

Charging only 0.4% on property taxes, Alabama ranks #49, meaning only one state has lower property taxes. Hawaii has the lowest at 0.28%. So, in the continental United States, nobody pays lower property taxes than Alabama residents.

Job Opportunities and Costs in Alabama

After learning about Alabama’s tax rates, it should come as no surprise that residents of the Cotton State enjoy a low cost of living — one of the lowest in the country, in fact. Where the national average is 100, Alabama ranks at 82.3.

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When you look at the finer details, it’s clear why living costs are so low: Housing costs are half of the national average. 

When moving to Alabama, many essential categories are much less expensive than those costs are elsewhere. And when you compare to nearby states, the Heart of Dixie is much more affordable than Georgia and Florida.

Alabama State Relocation Guide

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However, as with most states that have low living costs, there are salary considerations. With lower living costs comes lower salaries overall. 

Although not all fields are negatively affected, you must know what to expect. If you are in management, business, arts, or health fields, you can expect noticeably lower salaries than the national average. 

If you are an architect, engineer, farmer, or miner, you can expect to make comparable wages to the national average, if not a little more.

Regardless of your field, there are some positive notes about working in Alabama to help you settle down in your new home. Alabama’s job market has a 3.4% unemployment rate, whereas the national average is 6%. 

Alabama has positive job growth, and this trend should continue climbing over the next several years.

Overall, living in Alabama brings affordable housing with livable salaries and a meager cost of living.

Alabama Healthcare

Alabama has many great features and low costs, but healthcare isn’t one of those positive aspects. Alabama ranks low on the list of healthcare in the country. This rating comes from a cumulation of cost, access, and outcomes, which, in Alabama, are comparatively lower. 

For example, there are an average of 210 physicians for every 100,000 residents in the country. But in Alabama, there are only 170 physicians for 100,000 residents. Such low accessibility increases emergency wait times, costs, and the number of people who invest in healthcare.

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Alabama has over 5 million residents, yet 440,000 do not have any health insurance — equivalent to 8% of the population. This high uninsured population is a dangerous risk when considering the many health concerns in this southern state.

While Alabama has excellent water quality, it’s superfund and air quality index ranks substantially lower than the national average. 

The superfund index is how much money the state dedicates to cleaning contaminated lands. Alabama’s status is 36/100, whereas the national average is 87/100. Additionally, the air quality is 10 points lower at 48/100 than the national average.

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The drastically low air quality causes many health problems in the state and leaves residents with an increased chance of respiratory illness and cancer. 

Alabama Education

When you think of Alabama education, you probably think about the University of Alabama and Auburn University. However, there is much more to Alabama’s education system than meets the eye. Outside of these two major universities, Alabama’s education is below average.

K-12 ranks 45th. And, higher education such as colleges and universities ranks 39th. The public education rankings come from an analysis of standardized test scores and graduation rates, of which Alabama has fewer graduates than the national average: 85.3% compared to 87.3%.
The higher education rankings track educational attainment, college debt, graduation rates, and the cost of tuition. The accumulation of this data ranks Alabama #47 overall.

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Nonetheless, some notable schools in Alabama garner students’ attention across the country for excellent programs and extracurriculars. The University of Auburn is a top 100 school in the country. 

Samford University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham rank in the top 150, with the latter two tied for #148.

Ultimately, there are some questions about the education system in Alabama, but there are excellent schools along the way. The best way to find out where you want your children to go to school is to research nearby school districts in areas where you are looking to move.

Notable Highlights

Alabama has a long and rich history, dating back to 1819 when it joined the Union as the 22nd state. Although Alabama’s history includes segregation, slavery, and the American Civil Rights Movement, there are many historical sights spanning various topics.

  • If you want to learn more about the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, you can visit the nationally recognized Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
  • Alabama is home to the first African American flying unit in the United States–The Tuskegee Airmen.
  • The Saturn V rocket that made it possible for a man to land on the moon was designed and created in Alabama.
  • The University of Alabama and Auburn University are two of the country’s most prestigious schools and have outstanding college football programs. These two schools have won 7 national championships in college football since 2009.
  • Rosa Parks, an essential contributor to the Civil Rights Movement, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama.
  • Many celebrities hail from Alabama, including Channing Tatum, Courtney Cox, and Laverne Cox.
  • Many athletes and coaches call Alabama home, including notable names like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Bo Jackson, Ozzie Newsome, Satchel Paige, Bart Starr, Charles Barkley, Bobby Bowden, Ken Stabler, and John Stallworth.
  • Additionally, throughout literature and the cinema, Alabama is a popular location for settings. Famous works like Fried Green Tomatoes, Just Mercy, Sweet Home Alabama, To Kill a Mockingbird, Forrest Gump, and Selma all occur in the Cotton State.

Best Places to Live in Alabama

As you prepare for your move to Alabama, it’s helpful to have a few places in mind where you can settle down and find a great place to live and work. But before we can get into that list of areas, there are a few things you need to take care of before you hit the road for your move.

  • Alabama’s weather lends itself to the warmer side, so make sure you bring plenty of clothing to cope with the hot weather and humidity. Additionally, don’t forget some warmer clothing for the fall and winter as freezing temperatures come and go.
  • It is essential to carry all your crucial documents on your person. These documents include your driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate, medical records, voter registration, and vehicle registration. You don’t want to leave this information with your movers in case of an accident or lost luggage.
  • And finally, don’t let the hassle of transporting your vehicles stress you out. Guardian Auto Transport has expert teams to mitigate this anxiety-inducing process. We know how challenging this time is for you, so we offer state-to-state car shipping to reduce your stress levels and make your move as seamless as possible.

When moving to Alabama, you should consider the best Alabama cities to live in. The three ideal locations in Alabama are Madison, Vestavia Hills, and Daphne. Each of these locations is found in one of three different parts of the state to give you optimal choice and information.

Madison

Located in North Alabama, Madison is a great place to raise a family because of its low crime rates and affordable real estate. While the homes are above the Alabama average, they are still highly reasonable to someone moving in from another state where the average cost is much higher. 

Located in the northern part of the state, Madison offers great K-12 school districts and exceptional workplaces.

Vestavia Hills

Vestavia Hills is in the center of the state near Birmingham. This town of 34,000 residents offers wonderful city life nearby while keeping things quiet and slow within. 

Vestavia Hills fills its community with parks and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, but has minimal public transportation methods.

Daphne

You can find Daphne on the Gulf Shores between Mississippi and Florida. If you love the sun and beaches of South Alabama, you will enjoy Daphne and all it has to offer. 

You can visit the Gator Alley Boardwalk and Daphne Bayfront Park when you live in Daphne. This town prides itself on having plenty of amenities for tourists and residents. It offers excellent school systems, too.

Conclusion

When preparing to move, it’s essential you know everything you can about your potential new home. Like most places, there are pros and cons to moving to Alabama. So, your best bet is to explore these places and learn about your new home. 

For example, you can count on a low cost of living and low taxes when you move to Alabama. But, keep in mind that lower salaries and higher healthcare costs are part of the tradeoff.

While you prepare for your move, allow Guardian Auto Transport to help you out. We know that relocation can be stressful, so we developed systems to make your life and move much smoother. 

Just like you would call a moving company for your furniture, call us to ship your car to Alabama or shipping to other states. Whether you are moving from a town over or crossing state lines, we can help you get your move started on the right path.

Contact us today for a free quote and see how we can help you enjoy your new home—Roll Tide!

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